CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 8th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- SonyBMG merger back in court
- Official Prince site comments on cease and desist
- Doherty admits drugs relapse
- Gallows man tops cool list
- Hip hop court round up
- Fierce faced with multiple assault charges
- Tupac statue vandal charged
- Hank Thompson dies
- Jacko foreclosure notice surfaces
- Jay-Z refuses to sell album on iTunes
- Electrelane split
- Doves on new album
- Ian Brown releases Japanese single
- Moby makes music available to film types
- J Lo facing axe at SonyBMG?
- Trentemoller live tonight
- Owen's Big Night Out: UK festival awards 2007
- Great Escape returns
- Sony/ATV sign Shanks
- Eagle Rock revamp management
- eMusic landmarks
- Ticketmaster and iTunes alliance grows
- ITV wants Sky to be forced to sell its stake
- Virgin Media buy live music shows
- One Week To Live goes online
- Mika withdraws Boyzone song

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TOP BIT
So, Prince's official website, 3121.com, have commented on that news yesterday that the singer had issued a cease and desist letter against three fan communities telling them to stop posting images of which Prince owned the copyright.

As previously reported, the fan communities have launched Prince Fans United to fight any pending legal action, and claim that Prince is getting heavy in an attempt to close them down, because fans are sometimes critical of him on their message boards. In response 3121.com have defended Prince's right to defend his copyrights, adding that portraying the copyright dispute as a freedom of speech issue is wrong, and that the communities are also wrong to portray themselves as the champions of Prince fans everywhere.

And they may well be right, but I can't help thinking getting legal with such websites isn't an especially sensible thing to do anyway. For me copyright has three elements - the legal, the ethical and the common sense. Prince Fans United dispute that Prince even has the legal copyright, in the eyes of US copyright law, over much of the content the cease and desist relates to, but let's assume that he does. And on the ethical level, copyright law aside, there is an argument that any artist should have some control over their creative works and image, and 3121.com would probably argue that many of Prince's fans recognise that fact. But all that aside, I still don't think targeting fan communities like the ones targeted here is a sensible thing to do - ie it fails the common sense test.

3121.com accuse Prince Fans United of causing a distraction in their wider attempts to stop the infringement of Prince's copyright online, ie the distribution of his music via P2P and the sale of Prince products via eBay et al. But I can't help thinking it's 3121.com and Prince who are really causing the distraction, by wasting time bothering fan communities who may be technically infringing copyrights, but whose value to Prince as a constant promotional tool outweigh any creative or commercial implications of the infringement.

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SNAP OF THE DAY: Sportsday Megaphone
The SNAP slot has a Bestival theme this week don't forget, even though Bestival was months ago, I know. Though with Camp Bestival and their UK Festival Award win in the news this week, it's not entirely irrelevant. And today's tip is even a Sunday Best artist, so it's all coming together into one well formed spot, no? Actually Sportsday Megaphone has been MySpace Of The Day before, but he provided one of my real high spots at Bestival this year, so I just have to mention him again. And he has some live dates coming up in the next two months, listed here, so I think another tip is justified. I wandered over to Sportsday Megaphone somewhat despondent after what for me was a decidedly lacklustre Beastie Boys headline set (I should add Mary CMU thought the Beastie Boys were great). Being a newcomer up against the headliners is never easy, and Sportsday man Hugh Frost kicked things off to an intimate gathering of what were probably close friends. But he created such a remarkable amount of noise with his bleepy laptop enabled set, a curious crowd was soon drawn inside, and all seemed suitably impressed with the refreshingly quirky sound that is the Sportsday Megaphone experience. Go experience it for yourself here, but then go see the real thing at one of the listed live shows. And don't get sidetracked by any mediocre Beastie Boys gigs.

http://www.myspace.com/sportsdaymegaphone

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SONYBMG MERGER BACK IN COURT
The 2004 merger of Sony and Bertelsmann's recorded music businesses was back in the European courts again yesterday for what was arguably a redundant hearing.

The European Court Of Justice was hearing an appeal by SonyBMG of the ruling last year that said the European Commission was wrong to give the merger that created the major the go ahead, based on the investigations they had undertaken at the time. As previously reported, that ruling forced EC competition officials to reinvestigate the merger. And as also previously reported, they did exactly that, and reached the same conclusion, that the merger was sound. Which is why the latest hearing is in some ways redundant, because SonyBMG have achieved a second approval of their merger, meaning the fact the first approval was overturned is no longer really relevant.

However, pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA said yesterday that the ruling in the appeal case was, nevertheless, important because if the original ruling was overturned it would set a precedent that would rewrite merger controls in Europe to the advantage of major conglomerates who merge. IMPALA claim that SonyBMG's appeal should be rejected because the merger is, they argue, trying to appeal on points of evidence, whereas the appeal court will only consider points of law - ie the appeal court cannot revaluate the evidence presented in the original court case, only whether the original judges interpreted European competition laws correctly. IMPALA have another reason to not want the original ruling against SonyBMG overturned - the major is pushing for the trade body to have to pay its legal costs should it be successful in its appeal.

All of this is unrelated to IMPALA's response to the second ruling by EC competition officials which again approved the merger. That ruling has been referred by the trade body to the European Ombudsmen, while concerns about it have also been raised in the European Parliament.

All in all, don't think the SonyBMG merger story is over just yet. Advocate General Juliane Kokott should rule on SonyBMG's appeal on 13 Dec.

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OFFICIAL PRINCE SITE COMMENTS ON CEASE AND DESIST
Prince's official website, 3121.com, has responded to the news yesterday that representatives of the singer had sent cease and desist letters to three fan based web communities ordering them to remove trademarks and photos owned by the singer or his companies. As reported yesterday, the owners of those web communities have former Prince Fans United in a bid to fight the singer should he go through with the legal threats he has made against them.

3121 says that the three Prince Fans United communities - princefams.com, housequake.com and prince.org - had incorrectly positioned Prince's legal letter as an attack on freedom of speech, arguing that the dispute was based around differing interpretations of intellectual property laws and was nothing to do with the First Amendment.

They said in a statement: "This issue is entirely about the use of Prince trademarks and photographs (many of which 3121 controls the copyright to) and is purely to do with the administrators of three unofficial Prince websites, whose views on intellectual property laws differ greatly from 3121's, but who 3121 has nevertheless been in months of dialogue with in an effort to reach agreement".

The official site also claimed that the Prince Fans United sites were wrongly positioning themselves as the champions of Prince fans worldwide, arguing that they "only represent a tiny fraction of Prince's global fanbase". They also accused the owners of the fan communities of themselves blocking freedom of speech by banning anyone with an official tie to the singer from joining, and by removing one posting that outlined the official Prince line regarding the use of copyright images on the communities.

Finally they claim Prince Fans United are causing a distraction to Prince's real copyright battles - against the illegal distribution of his content via sites like The Pirate Bay and YouTube, and the illegal sale of Prince goods on sites like eBay. The statement concludes "hopefully these sites will soon stop deflecting attention away from the REAL battles that 3121 has been fighting on the internet against notorious sites such as Pirate Bay and other pirate and bootleg sites and against sellers of counterfeit goods on eBay - and much more that goes on behind-the-scenes".

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DOHERTY ADMITS DRUGS RELAPSE
So, he let himself down, he let you down, and most importantly he let me down. You did notice we gave him the benefit of the doubt yesterday right? And no sooner had we pressed 'send' on the CMU Daily then we're getting press statements from EMI admitting no such benefit had been due. It's a sorry, sorry state of affairs. And Pete, you need to spend more time digesting your Streets lyrics - never forget mobile phone cameras are always present.

Yes, Pete Doherty yesterday admitted that photos published by The Sun seemingly showing him injecting heroin shortly after the MTV EMA Awards, ie since he supposedly kicked the drugs, were genuine and documented a recent drugs relapse. They were not, as some had suggested, actually older pictures dating from before Doherty's latest and seemingly more successful attempt at rehab.

A statement from EMI's Parlophone issued yesterday read thus: "Peter sadly relapsed last week and is now looking to check himself back into a rehab clinic. He realises that he has not only let himself down but has let down those who trusted and encouraged his efforts. Peter would like to apologise to the medical staff, fans and well-wishers who have helped and encouraged his progress. His ongoing rehabilitation was a source of such pride to him that Peter and those closest to him thought that he was close to winning his personal battle with the drug. He is filled with remorse for what he describes today as 'a stupid, stupid action for which I feel only shame'".

Ah well, we'll let him off. After all, I've been off fizzy drinks for two months now, but caved last week and drank a can of Pepsi, and I wouldn't want to be accused of hypocrisy. Though I was smart enough to make sure no mobile phone cameras were around as I chugged the sticky cola drink down.

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GALLOWS MAN TOPS COOL LIST
This just in. Gallows frontman Frank Carter is the coolest god-damn mother fucker in pop. I know this because the NME have just told me. And when it comes to coolness, their word is gospel.

Yes, slightly mad Carter has topped NME's annual list of cool, taking over the reigns as king/queen of cool from last year's winner Beth Ditto, who is now officially only the ninth coolest person on the planet. Possibly because she's dissed the NME quite a bit in the last year, which as we all now, is not a cool thing to do.

Klaxon boy Jamie Reynolds is second in the cool list, while his bandmate's missus, CSS frontwoman Lovefoxx, is third. The Cribs' Ryan Jarman is fourth, that Lethal Bizzle chap fifth, Arctic Monkeys man Alex Turner sixth (you can insert your own "of course he's cool, he's arctic" type gag here if you wish), Kate Nash seventh and Amy Winehouse eighth. Keith Richards is officially the granddaddy of cool, rounding off the top ten at ten. Which is worrying me a bit, because it's that time of year when we are meant to worry about cool old people, and make sure they have enough pennies to turn on an extra bar on their electric fires. Give that man a woolly hat will you?

Commenting on his latest list of cool nonsense, NME editor Conor McNicholas said: "30 years after the height of punk there are a whole load of new bands making wild and passionate noise. But it takes more than just great music to make it to the top of the cool list. These people effortlessly set trends with every breath they take".

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HIP HOP COURT ROUND UP
It's been busy in the hip hop courts this week - though there was little actual judging going on, in the main it was about fixing future dates.

First Ja Rule was in court to face weapons charges that stemmed from an incident last July when police stopped his car and found a loaded hand gun in the vehicle. He was told to come back to court on 5 Dec for a full hearing of the charges against him.

Next Lil Wayne was in court, also for gun possession, a charge made after police approached the rapper's tour bus after smelling marijuana, only to allegedly witness a slightly jumpy looking Wayne disposing of a bag in which was another illegal hand gun. He was told to report back to court next February.

Grammy nominated rapper Remy Ma was in court to face charges she shot an acquaintance in a dispute over money and that she then intimidated the victim in a bid to stop her giving evidence against her. She was told to come back to court on 5 Dec.

Finally, and putting the others to shame, Busta Rhymes was in court to face a number of charges, including allegations he kicked a fan, that he punched a former employee, and that he drove drunk with a suspended licence. Good going Trevor. He is due back in court on 23 Jan for jury selection for his case.

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FIERCE FACES WITH MULTIPLE ASSAULT CHARGES
Meanwhile, coming soon to a hip hop court near you is New Jersey rapper Fierce, who has been charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder following an incident at a house party back in October.

According to AllHipHop.com, the rapper, real name Qandeel Nixon, was arrested at the end of last month over allegations he launched a violent attack at the party, shooting at and stabbing other party-goers. The website reports that Nixon has been in custody since his arrest, awaiting the payment of a $200,000 bail.

They also report that the rapper's people have denied all the allegations, claiming Nixon was no where near the house where the incident seemingly took place. They say that while the rapper may fit the description a witness to the shooting/stabbings gave of the attacker, they have a barman and off-duty police officer who will testify that they saw Nixon at a bar someway away at the time of the violence.

Fierce has been bubbling under in America's hip hop scene for a while now, but had started to garner more mainstream attention after opening for KRS-One and Hakim at a recent CMJ Convention show.

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TUPAC STATUE VANDAL CHARGED
A man arrested for putting a noose on a statue of the late Tupac Shakur outside the Tupac Amaru Shakur Centre For The Arts in DeKalb County, Georgia, has been charged with second degree criminal damage. However Kenneth Anthony Wilson, himself of African-American descent, will not be charged with a hate crime because police say there is no evidence his act of vandalism was racially motivated. It had been thought the noose incident may be a hate crime because it followed cases of racist graffiti around the Centre.

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HANK THOMPSON DIES
Country music star Hank Thompson has died of lung cancer aged 82. He sold more than 60 million albums in his seven decade career, coming to mainstream attention in 1952 with his hit 'The Wild Side Of Life'. He was later declared the 'The King Of Western Swing', and continued to perform right up until his death - playing in his home town of Waco, Texas just last month.

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JACKO FORECLOSURE NOTICE SURFACES
More on Michael Jackson's financial woes. Celeb website TMZ.com has published a foreclosure notice that has been issued by the Fidelity National Financial insurance company on Jacko's Neverland ranch in relation to defaulted repayments on a $23 million loan secured on proptery. This is presumably the same default notice reported on by Fox News last month. The notice has led to speculation Jackson could lose his Californian home as soon as next January, not that he lives there any more anyway.

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JAY-Z REFUSES TO SELL ALBUM ON ITUNES
Jay-Z is the latest artist to refuse to sell his new album on iTunes because of the Apple platform's insistence that customers can buy albums on a track-by-track basis. The hip hop mogul says that his latest long player, 'American Gangster', which, as previously reported, is an unofficial soundtrack to the Ridley Scott film of the same name, should only be experienced in its entirety. Jay said in a statement: "As movies are not sold scene by scene, this collection will not be sold as individual singles". As previously reported, Radiohead's catalogue is not available via iTunes because of the track-by-track rule.

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ELECTRELANE SPLIT
Brighton band Electrelane have said they are going on "indefinite hiatus", which may or may not mean they are splitting up. In a posting on their website they write: "We have decided that the upcoming gigs will be our last for the foreseeable future. After ten years of much fun and hard work, we have realised that we all need a break and time to do other things. This was a tough decision for us to make, but ultimately a positive one". Their final gig will be in Brighton on 1 Dec.

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DOVES ON NEW ALBUM
Doves have posted an update on their new album on their blog, writing this: "We've done eight tracks. We will be recording another eight tracks so we still have some way to go. Again thanks for all your words of encouragement, it means a lot to us. The studio is a little farmhouse barn in Cheshire, we did some mixing in RAK studios... John Leckie has since moved on due to previous commitments... co-production-wise, we've hooked up with an amazing up and coming producer, Dan Austin". Austin was engineer on last Doves album 'Some Cities', and produced iLikeTrains album 'Terra Nova'.

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IAN BROWN RELEASES JAPANESE SINGLE
Ian Brown will next month release an song in Japanese. It's a reworking of 'Sister Rose' of Brown's recent album 'The World Is Yours', the original of which was, if I remember rightly, in English.

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MOBY MAKES MUSIC AVAILABLE TO FILM TYPES
Moby is offering some of his music to independent filmmakers for free - well, in return for a small donation to charity. The tracks, which include some from 'Play', some from '18', and some unreleased material, are available via http://www.mobygratis.com. He says he has set the site up after indie filmmaker friends of his said they struggled to get rights to use music off record labels at a reasonable rate.

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J LO FACING AXE AT SONYBMG?
Jennifer Lopez may reportedly be dropped by SonyBMG's Epic US division because of the disappointing sales of her recent album 'Brave'. Insiders say the major thinks J Lo is simply too demanding for an artist who can only sell 53,000 units of a new album in first week of sale.

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TRENTEMOLLER LIVE TONIGHT
Trentemoller will play his first full live set in London tonight at The Forum. The eletronica type is promising "a multi-sensual experience with a full visual show created for the event". Doors open at 7.30pm, press gubbins from Trailer.

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OWEN'S BIG NIGHT OUT: UK Festival Awards 2007
VirtualFestival.com's UK Festival Awards 2007 took over London's Koko venue Wednesday night to celebrate all that is great and good about the festival circuit. Festival don Michael Eavis was there, as was Bestival curator Rob da Bank, though perhaps most importantly your dedicated CMU man-on-the-ground was also in attendance, braving the cold night for some serious schmoozing and sorting out of all our freebies for next year's fest season. Opening the evening's musical proceedings, Scouting For Girls (the 'She's So Lovely' ones that Chris likes so much) were introduced by hosts The Cuban Brothers as "the best band in the world", which could have been a confusing remark given that we were at an award ceremony. Thankfully they didn't do a Michael Jackson and step forward to collect a non-existance honour, instead playing a short set to a, well, less than enthusiastic crowd (I've never liked seeing bands when sitting down anyway). Award giving followed, with The Killers picking up two awards (Best Headliner and Best Rock Act), Glasto taking home Best Innovation for their new online ticketing system and, perhaps most controversially, The Big Chill winning an award for Best Toilets (just kidding, we hear their toilet range is great, big and chilled out and all that). And then Bestival won Best Medium-Sized Festival for the third year in a row, which made us all kind of happy, for reasons I can't quite describe. In between all this The Brightlights played (described by the Cubans as "A band of joyous men from the city of Grimsby", despite the fact that the seaport is obviously a town - word to your mothers.) Picking up the final award of the night, Isle of Wight Festival organiser John Giddings was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution tag, not unsurprisingly given the gushing review VirtualFestival gave his event this year ("Carlsberg don't make major festivals. A man called John Giddings does, however, and in our opinion he makes them better than anyone else"). Closing the event, Mr Hudson And The Library gave a toe-tapping performance but couldn't prevent the rush of the frontline seats to the afterparty, though CMU decided that we were all partied out and crawled back home. We're sensible like that, see. Do you realise how early we get up to get this here Daily written? OS

To invite Owen to your big nights drop him an email: owen@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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GREAT ESCAPE RETURNS
Channelfly have announced that The Great Escape festival will return to Brighton next year from 17-18 May. Some of the city's bigger venues are due to participate this time, further expanding the festival's programme. Bands interested in playing will be able to put themselves forward online via a partnership with MSN spaces - more on that when we get it.

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SONY/ATV SIGN SHANKS
Sony/ATV has secured the publishing rights of pop producer John Shanks, whose catagloue includes Sheryl Crow track 'Steve McQueen', Keith Urban track 'Somebody Like You' and Ashlee Simpson track 'Somebody Like You'. The major publisher was reportedly involving in a bidding war for Shanks with rivals Warner/Chappell, but according to the New York Post the deal is now done. Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier is quoted as saying of Shanks: "When you sign an artist, you have to wait for the next record to come, but when you sign a [songwriting] producer, it is one project after another".

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EAGLE ROCK REVAMP MANAGEMENT
Eagle Rock Entertainment yesterday announced a revamp of its senior management structure, with "the objective of promoting further growth in its worldwide visual and audio business".

On the new team Peter Worsley will be Managing Director Of Digital And Special Interest, developing digital media strategies for Eagle's audio and video assets. Andrew Winter will be Director Of Television Sales And Music Acquisition Worldwide, responsible for selling and developing music-based TV projects. And Lindsay Brown will be Managing Director Operations, International, coordinating CD and DVD releases.

Confirming the new team structure, Eagle CEO Terry Shand told CMU: "[We] are confident that we have the management to build on the excellent business base that the company has established".

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EMUSIC LANDMARKS
eMusic yesterday announced it has reached the 350,000 subscriber mark, and that its catalogue now includes 3 million tracks. Well done them.

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TICKETMASTER AND ITUNES ALLIANCE GROWS
The alliance between Ticketmaster US and iTunes has been expanded, meaning that music fans can now buy concert tickets and full digital albums in the same purchase.

The two companies have already introduced promotional partnerships, which means ticket buyers at Ticketmaster.com can get free digital music samplers via iTunes, while fans pre-ordering albums from featured artists via iTunes have been given special access to pre-order tickets.

In the new arrangement, customers will be able to buy complete digital albums provided by iTunes at the same time as ordering tickets from Ticketmaster's US website. To launch the new service a $1 discount is being offered on those album purchases.

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ITV WANTS SKY TO BE FORCED TO SELL ITS STAKE
ITV has asked the Competition Commission to force Sky to sell its 17.9% stake in the third channel broadcaster. Sky acquired the stake in ITV last year and while the purchase did not contravene media ownership rules, the Competition Commission recently ruled Sky having such a big influence over ITV restricted competition in the wider broadcasting industry. The Commission is considering possible remedies to overcome that fact, of which forcing Sky to sell the whole stake is just one, but ITV have now said that as far as they are concerned it's the only acceptable solution.

ITV has told the Commission: "Any other remedy would not fully address each of the heads of material influence which BSkyB holds. Furthermore, such a remedy is both consistent with the Competition Commission's broader principles as regards remedies and would avoid the difficulties of supplementary behavioural remedies. In particular, neither behavioural remedies nor a divestment to 9.9% would satisfactorily address the heads of material influence identified by the Competition Commission. ITV is also concerned that a reduction in BSkyB's stake to 4.9% would not address all of the heads of material influence. However, if the Competition Commission were minded to propose a partial divestment, a reduction to 4.9% (accompanied by a prohibition on seeking or accepting board representation) would at least begin to address ITV's concerns and would have a sounder analytical base than a reduction to 9.9%".

All of which, I'm sure, is perfectly clear.

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VIRGIN MEDIA BUY LIVE MUSIC SHOWS
Virgin Media has bought a series of concert recordings off Music Engine Productions which it will air on its recently launched Virgin 1 channel and via its on demand cable TV service. The first gig will be The Guillemots filmed at the London Astoria, which will air on Virgin 1 on 17 Nov.

The company's Head Of Programme Acquisitions Amy Barham says this: "The Virgin brand has long been synonymous with music so we are thrilled to have such a high calibre of cool and iconic performers on the channel".

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ONE WEEK TO LIVE GOES ONLINE
Free dance music magazine One Week To Live has become an online title. Launched as a free tabloid sized magazine in 2005 in London, and nationally in late 2006, moving forward the weekly dance title will be available via http://www.oneweektolive.com. Content from the 100 past print issues will also go online in the coming weeks.

Explaining the move online, the publishers of the magazine told CMU: "Since we started publishing, the market has shifted with online becoming more important than ever compared to other media. One Week To Live was the largest dance music magazine in the UK. We distributed more copies in a month than all the other dance press combined. Despite that, we didn't feel we were growing fast enough as an offline publication. Going online means we can potentially grow exponentially and without the need to print and distribute physical copies to reach new readers".

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MIKA WITHDRAWS BOYZONE SONG
The Sun has reported that Mika has thrown a spanner in the works for the previously reported Boyzone reunion which is due to take place as part of this month's Children In Need. Word is Mika wrote a song called 'I Gave It All Away' which he didn't plan to record himself and which was put out to pop types to licence. Boyzone heard it, liked it, and recorded a version, and planned to use it as part of their reunion thing. But now Mika has decided that Boyzone are just too cheesy and has refused them permission to publicly record or perform the track. To be fair to Mika, someone should have warned the songwriters of the world that the dreariest of boybands were back on the market, so they could start sticking "not for Boyzone, OK?" disclaimers on their work. Anyway, her's what a source told the tab: "Boyzone loved it [the song]. They thought it was perfect to launch their comeback so they recorded it and it sounded great - a certain No 1. Just like the track, Mika gave it all away. But then he took it back again".

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